Address of his Holiness Pope Francis

 Thursday, 22 December 2016

Important selections of the address of his

Holiness Pope Francis

Which may conclude his address worshipers praying

Saint Father Matta el Meskin

He also has been cited statements of St. Macarius

Disciple of St. Anthony Abbot

in explaining the mystery of the Incarnation

Dear Brothers and Sisters

I would like to begin this meeting of ours by offering cordial good wishes to all of you, superiors and officials, papal representatives and staff of the Nunciatures worldwide, all those working in the Roman Curia and your families. Best wishes for a holy and serene Christmas and a happy New Year 2017

Saint Augustine, contemplating the face of the Baby Jesus, exclaimed: immense in the form of God, tiny in the form of a slave”.[1] To describe the mystery of the Incarnation, Saint Macarius, the fourth-century monk and disciple of Saint Anthony Abbot, used the Greek verb smikryno, to become small, to reduce to the bare minimum. He says: “Listen attentively: the infinite, unapproachable and uncreated God, in his immense and ineffable goodness has taken a body, and, I dare say, infinitely diminished his glory”.[2

Christmas is thus the feast of the loving humility of God, of the God who upsets our logical expectations, the established order, the order of the dialectician and the mathematician. In this upset lies all the richness of God’s own thinking, which overturns our limited human ways of thinking (cf. Is 55:8-9). As Romano Guardini said: “What a reversal of all existing values – also divine! In truth, this God destroys everything that man, in the pride of his revolt, constructs of his own inspiration”.[3] At Christmas, we are called to say “yes” with our faith, not to the Master of the universe, nor even to the most noble of ideas, but precisely to this God who is the humble lover

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I would like to conclude simply with a word and a prayer. The word is to reiterate that Christmas is the feast of God’s loving humility. As the prayer I have chosen the Christmas message of Father Matta el Meskin, a monk of our time, who, addressing the Lord Jesus born in Bethlehem, said: If for us the experience of (your) infancy is so difficult, it is not so for you, O Son of God. If we stumble along the way that leads to communion with you because of your smallness, you are capable of removing all the obstacles that prevent us from doing this. We know that you will not be at peace until you find us in your likeness and with this (same) smallness. Allow us today, O Son of God, to draw dear to your heart. Grant that we may not consider ourselves great in our experiences. Grant us instead to become small like you, so that we can draw near to you and receive from you abundant humility and meekness. Do not deprive us of your revelation, the epiphany of your infancy in our hearts, so that with it we can heal all our pride and all our arrogance. We greatly need [……] for you to reveal in us your simplicity, by drawing us, and indeed the Church and the whole world, to yourself. Our world is weary and exhausted, because everyone is vying to see who is the greatest. There is a ruthless competition between governments, churches, peoples, within families, from one parish to another: Who of us is the greatest? The world is festering with painful wounds because of this great illness: Who is the greatest? But today we have found in you, O Son of God, our one medicine. We, and the whole world, will not find salvation or peace unless we go back to encounter you anew in the manger of Bethlehem.” [4] Amen.

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[1]

  Sermo 187,1: PL 38, 1001: “Magnus dies angelorum, parvus in die hominum … magnus in forma Dei, brevis in forma servi”

 [2]

Hom. IV, 9: PG 34, 480

[3]

The Lord, Washington, D.C., 2014, 381

[4]

L’umanità di Dio, Qiqajon, Magnano, 2015, 183-184

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And you can enjoy reading a sermon Pope Francis full in English-language
to the Roman Curia in the Christmas holiday in 2016

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/december/documents/papa-francesco_20161222_curia-romana.html

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